by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): An aircraft headed to France had to make an emergency landing at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) last evening (December 28).

The aircraft, Air Caraibes, departed from the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) in St. Maarten for Orly, France, at approximately 7:14 p.m. with a total of 46 passengers and 11 crew members on board. The plane has a capacity of about 378.

According to media reports out of St. Maarten 15 minutes after the takeoff, the pilot reported an engine failure to the Air Traffic Services (ATS) on St. Maarten.

The pilot then reported a “code red” emergency, which indicated a high-level emergency. The aircraft made an emergency landing back at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) at approximately 7:29 p.m., carrying 42 tons of fuel.

“They had a code red, left engine, they [returned] back to the airport after 15 minutes of flight, so we are going to check now to see what is going on [with the aircraft],” said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the airport, Brian Mingo last night in a statement to 721 News.

The Air Caraibes aircraft landed safely, and there were no further incidents.

CEO Mingo said no one was injured during the incident.

Residents in St Peters, Capebay, Colebay, Philipsburg and other areas heard multiple explosions when the Air Caraibes plane was flying over St Maarten, according to 721 news.